Measuring Up: Rising to the Standards Challenge

By Baselinemag Print this article Print

Instituting IT standards can save CIOs bigtime over custom solutions. So why are so many companies slow to make the switch?

41% is the amount top companies found they could trim application development costs simply by consistently using Information Technology standards.

More standards, less cost. If it's become almost a truism over the last 10 years for CIOs trying to plan their information technology spending, then how come so many companies still don't seem to get it?

Maybe this will inspire them. A 2002 study by Hackett Best Practices, a division of business technology consulting firm Answerthink, finds that top-performing companies have slashed their application development costs by a whopping 41% simply by instituting information technology standards. Choosing plain vanilla technology wherever you can will save you more money than you ever thought it would and—here's the surprising part—not compromise your company's performance.

"You always have to ask, 'Is the trade-off (between cost-saving and unique, customized technology) worth it?' It needs to be a conscious question, not a decision made by default," says Richard Roth, managing director at Answerthink.

So why don't more companies follow suit? Human nature. Business leaders may feel their competitive advantage will be threatened by generic software. Other goals may be taking priority. There may be a lack of internal consensus on business priorities.

Regardless, Roth sees a "recentralization" emerging as businesses move toward developing Web-portal technology. More standardized by definition, it costs less—which might just push more companies toward that 41% target.

This article was originally published on 2002-08-07
eWeek eWeek

Have the latest technology news and resources emailed to you everyday.